~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Deuteronomy 28:1-68 ~ Luke 11:14-36
Psalm 77:1-20 ~ Proverbs 12:18
Old Testament - I love the blessings for obedience that open up our Deuteronomy chapter 28 readings today! I actually first heard these read at a wedding several years back. The best man in the wedding read these verses as a blessing to the bride & groom. Somehow I missed the "obedience" to God's commands part of the blessing... - maybe the best man was editing as he read! :)
Obedience is quite a word I think for Christians to consider. I'm not sure that it is a popular word for us sometimes. I do believe that we are called to obedience as followers of Jesus. Even Jesus himself was obedient - obedient even to death on a cross. Is there an area of your life where you feel God might be calling you to obedience? Will you obey?
Here's a little obedience humor for you... :)
New Testament - Jesus' teaching in Luke chapter 11 verse 23 is so important for us to understand - "Anyone who isn't helping me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me." How does this verse speak to you? For me it convicts me. Yeah, maybe for some of my time I am helping Jesus and the Kingdom of God, but I think there is a lot of time where I am not working with Jesus. I am maybe indulging in some seemingly harmless trivial pursuits or material pleasures - but they aren't really working with Jesus. And am I then, at those times, actually working against Jesus? I don't know. I want to pray on this more. I do know that we are called to rest & relaxation in our lives. We don't have to be frantically seeking to serve Jesus 24 x 7. But, I do think it's possible that we can live our lives more "intentionally" - meaning, examine the intent of why we do what we do. And ultimately, is what we are doing with our time helping and working with Jesus? Or is it not? I think being intentional with our time and how we are spending our lives is so important... because time flies as we all know.
Jesus' teaching in Luke chapter 11 verse 36 is powerful for each of us to consider - "If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you." That second little clause there I think is key - with no dark corners. I'll admit that I have traveled through life with some dark corners. And it is no way to go. The dark corners do affect the Light really shining in you and through you - and the dark corners I believe can affect your relationship with God. I pray that if you know you have a dark corner in your life, confess it to God and Jesus. Pray for forgiveness and repent. God will fill you with light - a light that will penetrate and remove those dark corners in your life. But, you've gotta confess them & repent of them with God... You know it's worth it. To live a radiant life, as though a floodlight is shining on you is the only way to live!
Bible.org's commentary on Luke chapter 11's readings today titled "Evidence that Produced Various Verdicts" is at this link.
Psalms - Today in Psalm 77 verses 11 and 12 we read – “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.” I think these verses get at one of the amazing things about each of us reading the One Year Bible this year – both the Old & New Testaments. We are reading perhaps for the first time – or maybe the 16th time – about God’s miracles of long ago. We are “remembering” God’s miracles for ourselves and for those around us in our lives whom we will teach about God’s saving love. As you are reading through the One Year Bible this year, are you remembering God’s miracles of long ago? Are you meditating on all of his mighty works and considering his mighty deeds? Are you being transformed by this process? And will you now go forth and help others in your life remember and meditate on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit’s miracles of long ago?
Speaking of miracles, has anyone read C.S. Lewis's book Miracles? I have not yet, but hope to soon. Please post up a quick review in the Comments section below if you've read it? Thanks.
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 12 verse 18 is such a strong reminder that the words that come out of our mouths can either build people up - and even heal them - or tear people down - "Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing." Are the words coming out of your mouth these days cutting people or are they healing people?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!